Developing an effective website is no easy task. For that reason, many businesses leverage the services of an agency or freelancer to get the job done. But what do you need to know before
outsourcing your website build?
Your website is the first point of contact many of your customers will have with your brand, so it must be built to a high standard. On average, it takes just 2.6 seconds for users to make the first impression of a website and 94% base their opinions on looks alone. That’s not a lot of time for you to dazzle your audience with a fantastic interface and exceptional usability, is it?
If you find yourself overwhelmed by the idea of building a successful website for your business, you’re not alone. Many businesses – big and small – are enlisting professionals to swoop in and get the job done. This way, you can focus on other aspects of your business – like developing your content strategy or communicating with customers – instead of trying to get to grips with coding language and the ins and outs of web design.
Is building a website hard?
Depending on the scope of the site you want to create, building an effective website requires expertise, time and resources. At the very least, you’ll need to have skills in design and SEO if you want your website to stand out.
For this reason, many organisations outsource the website build process to a reputable agency or freelance web designer. This way, you can spend your time doing what you do best – running your business.
Is it better to build a website from scratch?
Many people think that building a website is feasible, even if you don’t have any prior experience related to this field. Today, many website builders, like Squarespace and WordPress, offer pre-built layouts and themes. However, if you want to create a business website that’s customised to your exact needs, learning the ins and outs of web design can be challenging.
While there are many free services for website creation, the majority of them have limited features, so you’ll likely have to fork out if you want to access advanced customisation capabilities.
After all, the companies offering website build services need to remain profitable, so users must be willing to cough up for the functions that give their website an added edge. These restrictions include reduced customisation features, limited storage space, display advertising and weak security measures.
When it comes to building a website from scratch as opposed to with a website builder tool, there are several advantages:
More control over hosting services
Website building platforms often offer hosting options as part of their plans, it can be a problem if you want to move your site to another server as many services make the transfer process difficult. When you develop your own website, you’ll have more control over the hosting services you choose as you won’t be linked to a specific builder.
Flexibility to add features
When you create a website using your code, you have a unique design. Using a website builder means that the template you choose may look similar to others. Instead, building your own website means you can customise it to your needs and add various features that may not be included in the pre-designed templates.
Access to the right expertise
Ordering and structuring the existing code can be challenging for those without a technical background. Working with an agency that specialises in website build services means you’ll have access to a skilled team of software engineering experts and web designers who know their way around code. This gives you greater freedom to make your site exactly how you want it to be.
If your code is not ordered and structured in the right way, security problems can arise. To ensure your website is as safe as possible for your users, you’ll need to take all the appropriate measures to ensure hackers can’t exploit their personal information and cause issues for your business. Website builder platforms generally feature the same code, or variations of it, on all sites, which makes them an easier target for malicious activities.
How long does it take to build a website?
If you opt to use a website builder, you’ll likely be able to get the job done faster. On average, creating a website with an agency or web development professional can take anywhere from two to five months. However, this all depends on the project you have in mind and if you want to create an advanced website.
As well as speeding up the process of developing a new website, a website development agency can also help you answer key questions about what direction your build should take, including its purpose and what tools will be the best fit for your business.
Many businesses today have websites that feature different types of pages. This provides the easiest experience for the user, as they can navigate your company site to buy products, read content or find your contact information.
If you’re a small business just getting started with your website build, consider the different types of websites that are available and in demand right now.
- Business website
- eCommerce website
- Corporate website
- Blog website
- Portfolio website
- Event website
- Personal website
- Membership website
- Nonprofit website
A digital agency or professional web developer will know how to create a small business website that caters to your needs and impresses your customers.
The kind of site you choose depends on what you’re hoping to achieve with it. For instance, if you want to showcase products to increase sales, you’ll need an eCommerce website. Or, if you’re looking to boost engagement and spread awareness about your brand, consider a blog website.
It’s a good idea to sit down and think about your business goals and how you want your new website to help make them a reality. If you’re not sure, consult an agency – its seasoned professionals will help you to understand which is the best option for your goals.
If you’ve decided you’d like to create your own website using a builder platform, there are plenty of options available to you. Today, various providers offer “drag and drop” website builders which make it incredibly easy to create effective sites to attract and engage your audience. The most popular choices include:
However, it’s important to remember the limitations of website builders when deciding whether or not to go it alone or enlist the help of a professional agency or freelance web designer. Beyond design, these providers will require you to pay for hosting and if you want to register a domain name. There are various factors to consider when choosing the right website builder for your business, including cost, ease of use, available features, storage and security.
That being said, they are a good option for those who want to get a website up and running quickly and cheaply. Many site builders are compatible with third-party software too, which means it’s easy to connect your customer relationship management platform or eCommerce solution. When it comes to choosing the best website builder, it all comes down to your personal preferences and the type of site you want to create.
How much does it cost to build a website?
There’s no definitive figure that determines web development costs. Again, it all depends on your specific needs, the goals you hope to achieve, and the kind of website you want to create.
If you decide to create a WordPress website or use another builder platform, you’ll find plans starting from as little as £3 per month. However, if you want a small business website that helps you to stand out from your competitors, you can work with an agency or web designer, the cost of which will depend on the scope of the project and the rates they charge.
Note that even once you’ve built a website, there are ongoing payments that will need to be taken care of. A custom-built site with advanced features will cost a lot more, reaching upwards of £10,000 for a large, complex project.
5 key factors that affect the cost of building a website
There are a number of different factors that can affect website design cost. Here are five that you need to bear in mind when planning out your budget and scope of work.
1. Website type
The first thing you need to ask yourself is whether you want to go for a custom build or use a template. Certainly, opting for the latter option may allow you to save on website cost in the beginning, but you’re guaranteed to bump into limitations further down the road.
A custom website provides several benefits, including greater control, ease of use, originality and advanced features, in addition to increased flexibility and scalability as your business changes and grows. However, costs are often higher as there is more work involved and it can take longer to get up and running. Agencies specialising in website build services will be able to provide you with an idea of how much you should expect to spend while offering advice on how to get the most out of your budget.
2. Website design
The overall design is another factor that impacts website development cost. Depending on the level of customisation you desire and the additional features you want to add to improve the user experience, such as animation or hover effects, you may need to adjust your budget as this will make more work for the designer.
Additionally, a custom design gives you greater control over how your brand is conveyed through your website as you’re not relying on templates and themes from builder sites that other companies may be using.
3. Components and complexity
Next, you’ll need to consider the various components of your website, such as logos, images, copywriting and other types of content. Then, ask yourself who will handle the design handover and the cost of plugins and other integrations.
Often when it comes to website development, you can’t know all the information that’ll determine the complexity of the project right away. There are ongoing factors that will affect your site to take into consideration. It’s important to factor this in when determining the budget for the project.
4. Hosting and domain name
You’ll need to choose and purchase a domain name. Some are more expensive than others if they’re in higher demand. Typically, website builders offer free domain names with suffixes such as “[your website].wordpress.com” or “[your website].wix.com”. If you want to upgrade, you’ll typically need to pay an annual fee for your personalised domain name.
Additionally, you will have to factor in the cost of hosting. Website builders may offer this as part of your annual or monthly subscription fee, but if you’re doing it from scratch, consider whether you want to manage the hosting in-house or have an agency do it for you.
5. Security and Safety
Another thing to consider is the importance of following the latest security protocols when it comes to the development and hosting of your website. More robust measures involved in a custom-build will likely cost more, whereas relying on free security plugins offered by website builders will be more affordable but may compromise your and your customers’ safety and personal data.
Can you develop a website for free?
Yes, it is possible to create a website without spending a penny using a website builder. However, it will be very basic and lack the customisation needed to impress every potential customer and offer an effective user experience. That being said, website builders are effective tools for those just starting out or anyone who doesn’t have the budget immediately available to them, as you can always upgrade later.
How much does it cost to run a website monthly?
Web hosting costs can be complex. Shared hosting is the cheapest option and refers to when the physical server and maintenance costs are shared. Prices for this type of hosting can range from £2 to £12 a month.
Dedicated hosting plans involve leasing an entire server privately, the cost of which can range from £60 to upwards of £400 per month. There are various hosting providers available, so it’s important to do your research beforehand.
What is involved in a website build?
A lot of things need to be taken into consideration when creating the look and feel of the website. To help you not get overwhelmed the process of web design development can be divided into seven steps.
1. Information gathering
The first step is to collect all the relevant information you’ll need for your website build. This includes identifying your business goals and researching your target audience and how your website can best meet their needs.
2. Planning and strategy
Your business website plan should include a site map featuring all your main topic and subtopic areas to help you understand its navigational structure. At this stage, designers will get acquainted with the content of your website to inform their work.
3. Graphic design
This stage is all about how your website is going to look. The website designer will create a prototype that represents the final look of your site. You’ll be kept informed regularly during this process and have ample opportunities to offer feedback.
Once the design is ready, the software engineer will translate the static prototype into fully functional code. During this step, interactive elements or eCommerce shopping carts can be added to your site.
With the content and visuals of your website build in place, it’s time to test it. Each page must be tested to ensure links work and it’s functional in different browsers, as well as on mobile.
Once all hosting and domain name concerns are taken care of, it’s time to launch your new business website! Additionally, you’ll need to make sure plugin installation is handled and SEO activities are carried out to help your site rank.
7. Website maintenance
Ongoing maintenance is required to ensure your website continues to operate optimally. During this phase, you can conduct user testing to improve usability.
What are the 5 basic parts of a website?
There are countless parts of a site, but the most basic ones that you’ll need to factor into your website build include:
- Navigation tools: Your menu is vital as it’s what enables users to navigate through the site.
- Header: The header is often the first part of your website people will see. It sits at the top of the page and typically features your brand’s logo and the website menu.
- Content: This refers to basically everything else on your site, including all of the words, images, multimedia content and more.
- Footer: Simply put, this is what sits at the bottom of your website. Often, they contain basic contact information, links to social media profiles and a sitemap linking to other pages on your site.
- Calls to action: Another essential element, these buttons direct the user to the desired action and guide them through your website and the buyer journey.
How can you keep your website secure and safe for your customers?
- Secure your site with an SSL certificate: SSL technology ensures that all data passing between a server and a browser is inaccessible to hackers.
- Update plugins and extensions: This protects your website from attackers exploiting weak spots in old versions of plugins.
- Use secure passwords and two-factor authentication: It’s easy to forget the importance of doing this, so ensure that everyone who has access to your website is using strong passwords and changing them every so often.
- Use a secure hosting service: This is one of the best things you can do for your new website. Look for a robust and reputable hosting service as this will protect your site from malware attacks and other malicious activity, while also minimising downtime.
Is it worth hiring someone to build a website?
It all comes down to your unique needs and business goals. Although using a website builder like the WordPress developer allows you to create a basic interface quickly and affordably, businesses seeking a custom-built website that stands out from the crowd and helps drive sales should consider enlisting the services of an agency offering web design services.
Here at Axonn, we have a team of experienced website designers, SEO specialists and content creators who can make your website a success. If you’re a small business and don’t have the cash to splash, we can work closely with you to develop a project that suits your needs and can scale as your business grows.
As a full-stack agency, our team of professionals can help you in every aspect of your digital marketing needs. From web design to copywriting, to Google Ads strategy and implementation – we can partner with you to grow your business and achieve your goals.